Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favorites: Catching Up Edition... Sort Of

Yay for Friday!! I want to attempt to keep blogging somewhat regularly so even though I don't have tons of pictures I'm going to go with what I have and hopefully catch up a little. 

*My dad sent me this picture a couple of weeks ago from their little outing to Dauset Trails. The boys and I have gone every summer since we moved back but this year with the busyness of going back to work and setting up a classroom, we didn't have a chance to go. So Granna and Papa took the grands during pre-planning. This picture is just the sweetest! I mean melt my heart!! Love these babies so!!

*Layton's very 1st day of school was Monday, July 31st and this is the picture I got of him before his big day. He's attending preschool half a day each day and Terrell takes him every morning before heading to work and my mom and mother-in-law pick him up every day. He wasn't super sure about it at first but he seems to really love it now. YAY. His favorite things about school so far appear to be painting, the "Home Living" center, and turning into a dinosaur and chasing girls at recess. Haha! 
*The same day as Layton's 1st day of school and mine and the boys (and AnAn's!) 2nd day of school, my mom had all of us over and cooked us a huge and delicious dinner. It was so nice not having to worry about feeding my crew on the 2nd day of school... which was possibly more exhausting than the 1st! I didn't take a single picture because EXHAUSTION, but it was a huge favorite!

*Later that week on Friday night (of the first week of school), we celebrated Frankie's birthday together with a steak dinner! And an oh so yummy ice cream cake!! It was a fun celebration with the fam. =)

*Terrell and I took the boys to CFA for supper on a Saturday night a couple of weeks ago and we all had a blast. =) The boys typically play on the playground while we order and get everyone's food and drinks situated at our table. Then they come eat and we usually trade in our kids meals toys for ice cream, and then we let them play again before we leave. Well after enjoying the most delicious ice cream known to man, the boys played and Terrell and I just sat and watched a hilarious video we came across on FB. For like 11 minutes! We laughed so hard and had the best "date" while the boys played. We even decided to take a selfie of ourselves while we watched. Haha!! We're dorks. 

*Last Friday night we celebrated Terrell's upcoming birthday with his parents. We grilled out and they even made us homemade ice cream! I don't have a picture but we had a great night celebrating the best son, husband, and dad ever!

*We made some final decisions about a pool this summer. Something that's been in the plans and in the works for exactly 3 years!! We are soooo excited! The first thing we're doing is replacing our deck with a brand new one, plus adding a lower level that will step out onto the patio area by the pool. It's going to be a long term project but should be finished in plenty of time. Terrell and his dad are doing most of the work themselves and it's been pretty cool to watch.  

*And the boys have been fascinated and so impressed. They've even started some "building" projects themselves around the house. =)

*Earlier this week while we were having supper the boys started comparing and discussing their favorite foods.... which eventually led to a game of this or that? Hamburgers or hotdogs? Pancakes or waffles? Ice cream or popsicles? Skittles or sour patches? Fruit Loops or Apple Jacks? The game went on and on throughout dinner, clean up, and all the way to bedtime! We've played before but this time was a record breaker. And so fun! So I made a picture. =)

This weekend we have lots of plans to celebrate Terrell's birthday, do some planning for Austin's upcoming birthday, and attend our niece Allison's birthday party. =) Plus we're hoping for some extra rest. I am TIRED. Phew. Week 3 of school is almost in the books and other than beginning of the school year exhaustion, things are going great! Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Layton at 3.5

On Saturday our baby turned 3 and a half! In some ways 3.5 seems so big when you're talking about your BABY. I mean, how can our littlest man be half way to 4?!?! It just doesn't seem possible! But in other ways, 3.5 still seems itty bitty and oh so little. He is growing up fast but I know I'll always see him as my baby. The same goes for his big brothers too. One day they'll all be bigger than me, but as their mama they will always be my baby boys. 

Here's a little peek at life with Layton at 3.5....

*You sleep the latest out of all the brothers in the house. You will sleep until 8:00 or later on the weekends lots of times while Garrison and Austin barely make it to 7:30. 

*Your bedtime is around 8:00 on school nights (but you aren't asleep until a little closer to 8:30) and around 7:30-7:45 on the weekends. Most weekends are easier for earlier bedtimes and we're usually so worn out from the week that we don't mind heading to bed early!

*You LOVE bread. Hahaha! I can't even tell you the number of times you've told us you want bread for your meal. I'm afraid you get it from your mama. BUT, we never give you just bread. Ha! In fact, lots of our meals don't even include bread. Much to your disappointment. =)

*Your favorite things right now are superheros and power rangers. You love playing "fight the bad guys" or power rangers with your brothers. It's currently your favorite hobby!

*You still enjoy being rocked, sitting in our laps, us rubbing your back, and being close to mama and daddy. Especially mama. =) I'm so thankful you're still our little cuddle bug!

*You have done great adjusting to preschool so far and mama working full time. I'm very proud of how quickly you accepted our new routine and the way you've become a pro at it!

*You love your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and ask about them, talk about them, or "call" them on your phone frequently. =)

*Your most favorite thing is playing outside. Unfortunately it has been brutally hot and humid lately and we don't get out much. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if you chose a career that allowed you to work outside. You LOVE "cutting the grass", "building the deck", and working in the yard. Outside is your favorite place to be and the weather doesn't seem to phase you one bit.

*You are super excited to play soccer and are counting down to your first practice!

*You have the cutest imagination and "tend" (pretend) all the time. Dressing up as a superhero or power ranger is a regular occurrence for you.

*You still nap every afternoon, you have a big sweet tooth, carbs are your fave, you love the water, your big brothers and cousin Piper are your best friends, you keep us laughing all the time, you don't like the dark or thunderstorms, your favorite food is Mexican, and you bring us joy every single day. 
You are half way to 4 and we are loving watching you grow!! Happy half Birthday Layton Thomas! We love you and are soo blessed you are ours!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back to School

We are all in full blown back to school mode over here! Phew. It's exhausting and definitely takes some getting used to after our laid back summer days. But we're all doing it and all having a pretty great start! 

I thought I jot down the highlights and little things I want to remember from our first 10 or so days...

*Teaching PreK is super fun and super CRAZY. Some days I laugh and some days I cry. Haha. Thankfully I haven't had many tears. The beginning of the year is just nuts trying to keep up with 22 little 4 year olds who may or may not want to be at school and who may or may not struggle with following directions. Ha! Plus it's just exhausting. Like really, really exhausting. This teacher-mama is TIRED. I love my school babies already and we are slowly but surely getting the hang of things at big school.......but it's been a wild adventure for sure. 

*Garrison LOVES his new school. (In our county the Primary School consists of grades PreK through 2nd and the Elementary School consists of grades 3rd-5th. So this year Garrison moved to the Elementary School.) Going to a "new" school and facing the unknown is a little intimidating. 3rd grade in itself is a little intimidating! But he absolutely loves his teachers and is having the best experience so far!! There is more independence, things are more laid back, his teachers are awesome, and the Activity teachers/classes (Art, Music, PE, Computer) are his favorite. It has been such a blessing and answered prayer for us because we were all nervous! I'm really excited about this year for him. 

*Austin is transitioning well to Kindergarten! The first few days he didn't really want to go and even shed some tears one day at lunch when he saw me because he just wanted to go home and be with me. Bless him. He loves his mama and is a for sure home-body. =) Thankfully he really loves his teachers and is doing awesome. I would even go so far to say he is loving school most days. He's just a pro at almost everything Kindergarten (so far). That September birthday and being the oldest is a big time advantage. I don't love that there are 3 years/grades between the big boys in school but his birthday is to his benefit without a doubt. I'm so thankful he'll always be the oldest and have that extra advantage. 

*Layton has done great with preschool so far! I think it has been so good for him to be with peers and classmates and teachers for half a day each day. He has been home with me full time for most of his life and last year started staying with his Granna and Nana quite a bit, so this experience for him is a great one! He was apprehensive and unsure the first couple of days but since then has really blossomed. I know he'll learn a ton and be ready for big school next year. And something about him going to "school" each morning just like us makes my mama heart feel better about working full time this year (the year before he starts big school). 

*Terrell has been amazing. He has taken over all of our laundry, most of our errands, and has really gone above and beyond to make this transition easier on me. He knew this job opportunity was really important to our family and a huge step for me.... and all of us really. I haven't worked full time (other than 10 weeks back in the Spring) in 8 YEARS. And that was before having 3 busy little boys! So this change is a BIG one. And I'm so, SO thankful for him stepping up and being so wonderful about the added responsibilities and extra "stuff" he's having to take on. We've always been great at tag teaming and I hope we can keep up our stellar teamwork. =)

*The big boys have started soccer and Layton's first practice is coming up soon! I was extremely nervous about signing up all 3 boys for soccer this Fall because this is another first for us. And the timing is scary with me going back to the classroom full time. I mean we've never experienced 3 playing at once. #pulledin3differentdirections #we'reoutnumbered #thankfulforgrandparents But he is SO excited that I know it will be worth it. He's been watching his big brothers play sports for as long as he can remember and he's thrilled that it's finally his turn. I hope he loves it as much as he thinks he is. =)

*Our parents have been a huge help to us so far and I'm honestly not sure what we'd do without them. Last year we needed them to help with Layton once I started subbing, but this year is sort of a all hands on deck year. Layton has to be picked up from school each day at 11:30, some mornings we'll need someone to take Garrison to school, some afternoons we'll need the big boys to be picked up from school due to me having meetings or trainings at other locations, I'll need childcare for teacher work days, etc. So we are extremely blessed with parents who not only can help but also want to help. Thankfully next year the boys and I will all be on the same schedule and we want be nearly as "needy." 

The start to this school year has been an exhausting whirlwind, but overall things have been pretty awesome. I'm adjusting, the boys are adjusting, and hopefully things will only get better. I know we'll all have days of not wanting to go, or days of being completely "over" our schedule. (I've already had some moments of feeling overwhelmed and ready for a break!) But I think this transition year for us has the potential to be a really good one and this job opportunity will really bless our family in ways we haven't experienced before. God's plans are good and we will continue to trust in Him and give Him the glory. 

Happy Friday Eve! =)

Monday, July 31, 2017

1st Day of School!

Friday was our 1st day of school and other than a long and crazy afternoon of transportation issues, we all had a great one! 

My 3rd grader, Kindergartner, and almost Preschooler. (Layton's official 1st day is today!) And for the record.... they all picked out the same shirt. =) #myloveofmatchingiscontagious

I am so excited for all 3 of them and this brand new school year!

Last year's 1st day of school. =) They've grown so much! (And this year I didn't even think about individual pictures. We were on a mission to be on time and feeling a little rushed. Ha.)

My 1st day of PreK was awesome. Super busy, tiring, fun, and a little wild. I love my students already and have amazing parents! I am experiencing God's grace again and oh so thankful.

This was my first time ever to not get to take my biggest to his first day of school. But thankfully I was at peace about it and Terrell was able to take him and everything went smoothly. It's breaking my heart a little that I can't take Layton this morning for his 1st day of preschool but I know he'll be fine with Terrell and that he won't be scarred, or probably even remember! Haha. 

I did get to take my middle baby for his 1st day since we're in the same building and he had a great day with his new teachers. We love Mrs. Molina already!!

He was all smiles after school and other than being pretty exhausted he had the best day. =)

Garrison also had a great day! YAY!!! Going to a new school and experiencing some changes had us all a little nervous about the 1st day (and the whole year), but his first impression of the elementary school was awesome. His word. =) He is super excited about the year and loves both of his teachers. 

After school was pure craziness thanks to some new changes in schedules and transportation with our school system so we couldn't stick to our normal 1st day of school special snack at home because we weren't home until almost 5. So instead we took the boys out for American Pie and they got to have ice cream for dessert. 

We had a fun Friday night celebrating our successful first days! 

This morning we set out for our first full week of school. Mama is a little nervous about how it's going to go but covering it all in prayer. This is a BIG adjustment for all of us and I'm praying it's a smooth one! I'm not sure when I'll be back with an update as I want to give myself some time to settle into my new role and *try* to rest and relax during the times we're home as much as possible. But, my goal is to keep this family scrapbook going so my "break" isn't long term. =) Have a great Monday and a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer In Review

Summer officially wraps up today and we are set to embark on a brand new, BIG adventure tomorrow.... 3rd grade, Kindergarten, Preschool, and I will be in PreK! Big changes are happening for all of us! I hope Terrell Selph is ready!! Ha! #alltheemotionshappeninghere #it'sbeenalongandcrazyweek #prayforus

The summer season has grown on me by leaps and bounds since Garrison's Kindergarten year when we experienced our first baby being in big school. Before, it was just a miserably hot season off of school with the only real highlight being vacation. It was okay, but definitely not my favorite. But now, it's a time of relaxation, slowing down, no commitments, no sports, no real schedule, and soooo needed by all of us. 

While the start to this summer was really different and a little challenging, we have wrapped things up on a high note. Other than some unexpected sickies this week, we had the best 2nd half!! And the 1st half wasn't too shabby either. =) 

Here's a recap of our summer start to finish...

Our very first day of summer, Garrison Cade had a tonsillectomy. Everything went really smoothly with the surgery and other than day 3 being pretty tough on our patient, we were so pleased with his recovery. And thankful! We consumed tons of popsicles, were stuck inside almost non-stop for a week or so, spent some of Garrison's DQ gift cards, played in the rain, and Terrell and I celebrated our 12th anniversary with a family date night. =) It was challenging for sure with one boy recovering and 2 boys still going strong, but we did it and looking back it wasn't so bad.

Once we felt good and confident about Garrison's recovery, Terrell and I were able to plan a very last minute anniversary trip! It almost didn't happen, but we finally found a place to stay and went back to PCB for the 2nd year in a row. We loved last year's trip so we went for it again. It was soo fun and such a special weekend for us. We have come to reeeally treasure our anniversary get-aways!! And the boys had a blast with Granna and Papa. =)

Once we returned from our trip, things were crazy. The boys were fighting a ton, I was tutoring (with a new student!), I was interviewing and awaiting word on the PreK job opportunity, we were planning to go out of town again, the house was a mess, the boys were a mess (haha), and the fighting was out of control! Did I mention the fighting? Gracious. It was crazy around here. 

BUT, I got the job!!!! And then we enjoyed a super fun trip to Gatlinburg! Then, immediately following our trip we celebrated Father's Day with the best dads! It was a really fun and exciting few days.

After Father's Day it was time to count down for the beach!! We went back to St George Island again this year and introduced the O'Mary fam to our favorite family vacay spot! (Part 1, Part 2, Part3) We had a wonderful week and LOVED having the whole family there this time!

After our fun and amazing time at the beach we returned home and finally, truly settled into summer. Things just seemed to finally click. It was the best! The boys started playing so well together and getting along better than they had all summer. We almost completely eliminated iPad time and cut back on TV time and just enjoyed summer perks... and each other! We had a fun 4th of July and enjoyed a few firsts of summer like going to see Cars 3, swimming in Mrs. Debbie's pool, and the boys had sooooo much fun at Nana Camp. =) It was a great start to July!

While the boys were having a blast with their cousins and grandparents I enjoyed a super rare girls day out and Terrell and I got in a sweet date night. =)

Next up, we were reunited with our babies, hosted our biggest play date ever, and tackled some early school supply shopping. It was a pretty great week.

We enjoyed our big summer weekend a little earlier this year with me going back to work and we had such a great time!! I love this tradition!

After our last big outing of summer, we got ready for my last week of summer. We spent some time working in my classroom, had a play date with Piper, made more freezer meals, went swimming, got haircuts, and I was able to meet the newest member of the Swatts fam. It was a really good one!

This week has been a crazy (and stressful!) whirlwind but ready or not our 1st day is tomorrow!! The highlight of the boys' last week of summer would probably have to be riding bikes, playing in the sprinkler, going out to breakfast, and their annual summer trip to Dauset Trails that Granna and Papa made happen. =) Even though it's been an exhausting week I'm so thankful for my kiddos' amazing grandparents helping us out and making the boys' last days of summer so fun!

This summer was a special one filled with all sorts of fun and adventures. Some big, some not, all priceless. Even though we have some really big changes coming, I am so blessed to spend my school breaks with my guys. It wasn't always pretty or perfect around here but we made some really great memories and some of my favorites were of just listening to my boys play together and have fun while they used their imaginations. Of course the trips, outings, and bigger plans were awesome too. =)

I am so thankful for our summer and praying for a smooth adjustment for this brand new school year full of change. We are all excited and nervous but putting our trust in Jesus! He is faithful and I know we're going to be just fine.

Happy Thursday! Have a fun Friday and a great weekend!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekend Recap

Our weekend was a super productive one! Plus pretty fun with some extra rest too. The best mixture for a weekend. =)

Friday afternoon while I was cleaning bathrooms and laminating more stuff for school, Layton was supposed to be napping. Instead he was skipping his nap and reading....... and reading and reading.

Then, an hour later...... still reading. Just browsing his bookcase for another good book. Haha! He "read" for his entire nap time! At least he chose a quiet activity. Ha! I wasn't a fan of him skipping his nap, but I did love the all the reading he did. =)

Terrell brought take-out home for us on Friday night and afterwards we all got comfy and ready for soccer night. =) Instead of movie night we decided to watch Atlanta United and have a soccer night complete with popcorn and snacks. The boys don't love watching soccer as much as other sports but Terrell and I are WAY into it and love it! So the boys played a little, watched a little, and enjoyed their popcorn/snack bowls a lot. =) 

Then this happened..... #Bailey'sfavoriteboy

She loves popcorn and Layton didn't mind sharing. Haha.

On Saturday morning I woke up early and set out with one last list for my classroom in hand. In case you didn't know, or you forgot like I sort of did, teachers spend a small fortune on their classrooms! #wowzers But it's an exciting and worthwhile investment! I *think* I have everything I need now! It's not all laminated and ready to go just yet... but most of it is! YAY! I didn't take one single picture on Saturday morning because I was on a mission. Ha. The boys were home with Terrell and I was shopping at record speed. It was a fun morning for me. =)

Saturday evening we went out to eat for AnAn's birthday! We had a delicious meal together at one of our fave restaurants before heading back to my parents' house for cake, ice cream, and presents. 3 tens and 2 ones worth of candles for the birthday girl! =)

We had a fun night and great time celebrating with AnAn!

Sunday morning the boys and I set off to church for the first hour before heading home to get a start on our to-do list that was about a mile long. That's why Terrell missed church. Sigh. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. 

Sunday afternoon I finished cleaning the house top to bottom. Maybe it will stay that way for a while now! Then it was time to head out to the annual Prayer Walk for our schools. Love our hometown, our church, and our school system! Such a blessing to be able to do this each year. And, God gave us a rainbow right in the middle of it. We enjoyed praying over both our primary and elementary schools as a family and don't take it for granted that we're allowed and encouraged to do so!

Last night we let the boys sleep together again and they did great. This may become a more regular thing in the future. It's definitely being requested a ton by Layton Thomas. =)

And after getting the boys to bed and all of my school items organized, we loaded up my car to be ready for today. My first day of preplanning! #hopeI'mready #eeeeeeeeeek!

I'm both excited and nervous about today... and this week.... and this year. Ha! But I'm trusting in God's plan and know that this is where He has me and where I'm supposed to be. 

I hope to be back later this week with our summer in review. =) Have a great Monday!